July 2, 2022 marks the culmination of the Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers | Season 2 at Fulbright University Vietnam. The students in this course officially graduated with a final project of analyzing and planning a sustainable marketing strategy for “Hanh Trinh Ve Yeu Thuong” – a community development organization.

As a strategic joint effort between Young Marketers and Fulbright University Vietnam, the Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers course is designed specifically for undergraduate students of Fulbright to help equip them with foundational knowledge and practical experience, which will be valuable assets for them in becoming the next changemakers of Vietnam. This also aligns perfectly with Fulbright’s educational mission.

Gathered in the judging panel were dedicated marketing practitioners and social activists:

  • Pham Nha Uyen – Managing Partner, Young Marketers; Former Head of Marketing, Coca-Cola Indochina; General Manager, Provence Vietnam
  • Dao Nguyen Hai Yen – Founder and Project Manager of “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”
  • Nguyen Hong Dan – Marketing Manager, Reckitt Benckiser

Revolved around the message “All children deserve to be loved. Embrace the differences”, the graduation report focused on children with special needs. Accompanying “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong” – a group of special education teachers, psychologists, social activists, and parents who are raising children with special needs, the course wished to join hands to raise awareness and social understanding about autistic and developmental delayed children, and thus, foster change and spread positive values in the society.

“I am extremely grateful for the students who are making a significant contribution to support autistic children as well as social organizations founded for the betterment of children with special needs. We are looking at a brighter future for the autistic community. Also, by learning about this topic, the students also connect with their families, especially shortening the gap between parents and children, in a far more meaningful way,” remarked Ms. Dao Nguyen Hai Yen, Founder and Project Manager of “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”.

The graduation ceremony highlights the growth of Fulbright young marketing enthusiasts after 12 weeks of specialized training. The students went above and beyond to do market research in order to find valuable insights and propose a sustainable development direction as well as an optimal marketing plan for “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”. Started with a passion for marketing, these youths have shown tremendous improvements throughout the process.

The HUN team formed by Le Doan Phuong Nhi, (Class of 2023), Nguyen Phuong Uyen (Class of 2025, and Do Thi Thu Hien (Class of 2024) demonstrated their flexibility in media planning to cover a wide range of social media platforms, including videos, podcasts, workshops, and seminars to increase the awareness for “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”. The team found the main goal of the project to be: “As no one is left behind on the journey of learning how to love, “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong” understands, loves, supports, and accompanies families that have children with special needs”. Additionally, with “Tu ky khong tu minh”, which can be roughly translated to “Autistic but not Alone”, they emphasized the importance of each individual in lessening the burden for families having autistic and developmental delayed children.

The team ACE of Ninh Quynh Anh (Class of 2023), Tran Thao Linh (Class 2024), and Le Nguyen Hong Ngoc (Class of 2025) impressed the judges with their financial development plan for “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”. Rather than purely relying on fundraising activities, the project can be more proactive in initiating and operating community-oriented activities, especially supporting the parents financially and in a better timely manner, as well as systematizing forms of support for children with special needs. With the tagline “Every step, an understanding, lots of love”, ACE students established content from real and genuine stories to bring “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong” project to the wider community.

Pham Minh Hieu (Class of 2025) and Doan Le Phuong Uyen (Class 2024) made the team PAIR and approached the problem from accompanying parents of children with special needs. Realizing that the communications activities of “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong” and other similar organizations were still limited, the PAIR team proposed to build a sustainable educational ecosystem for autistic children on two main pillars: a lifetime education roadmap and activities for children with special needs. PAIR hoped that “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong” can become a reliable companion to shoulder some worries and encourage parents through the publication of sketchbooks “Message from the future”.

“While there is room for improvement in your presentation, I believe this is a great starting point for you to understand how to lead a more compelling, impactful marketing story. Hope you all had a memorable journey together,” commented Ms. Pham Nha Uyen on the learning process of Fulbright students throughout the course.

After carefully evaluating the presentations of all three teams, the judging panel officially named PAIR as the champion with the best marketing strategy for “Hanh trinh ve yeu thuong”. With 20.000.000 VND sponsored by Young Marketers and Ms. Pham Nha Uyen, team PAIR will realize their proposed project.

“We realized that the plus point of all three teams was their thorough research. The overall parameters and the assessment of the current problem were well established. However, marketing is not just about analysis, marketing is how we tell a story from a problem to a solution and connect all elements to form an effective idea. And team PAIR had it all, congratulations,” exclaimed Ms. Nguyen Hong Dan – Marketing Manager of Reckitt Benckiser.

Another season of the Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers has ended, but the journey to find, train and nurture young marketing enthusiasts for Fulbright University Vietnam and Young Marketers continues. More than just applying marketing foundation knowledge to solve difficult communications problems for corporates, Fulbright students are also deeply interested in social issues, constantly trying to improve themselves to become the future leaders of the country.

On April 2, Fulbright University Vietnam and Young Marketers have officially launched a new course entitled “Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers”, with the first 8 students (Gen 1) being rigorously selected from over 300 students, through multiple rounds of tests and assessment.

Young Marketers is not only an “academic playground” for young marketing enthusiasts across Vietnam, but it is also a professional and methodical training program designed by dedicated practitioners. With its mission statement: “Building the next purposeful marketing leaders”, since 2013, Young Marketers has significantly influenced young people’s approach to marketing, nurturing professional, compassionate, and transformative practice as its core values.

After 9 years of development, Young Marketers have now reached a new milestone by collaborating with Fulbright University Vietnam and bringing a part of the “Young Marketers Elite Development Program” to Fulbright. This course is designed specifically for undergraduate students of Fulbright to help equip them with foundational knowledge and practical experience, which will be valuable assets for them in becoming the next changemakers of Vietnam. This also aligns perfectly with Fulbright’s educational mission.

The course “Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers” will be delivered in 10 lessons over 2 months and will cover the following main topics:

  • What is brand? What is brand hierarchy?
  • What is consumer insight?
  • What is brand positioning?
  • What is brand communication
  • What is brand activation?
  • What is brand innovation?

At the course launching event, Ms. Pham Nha Uyen, CEO of Provence Vietnam and former Head of Marketing, Coca-Cola Indochina, said: “This is a strategic collaboration between Fulbright and Young Marketers, when two organizations sharing the same belief in liberal arts education now join hands to foster a new generation of leaders capable of creating positive impacts. This new generation will have curiosity, deep understanding of human behaviors, sharp analytical thinking, and creativity to find disruptive solutions to problems facing our society. This Gen 1 with eight students is only the beginning of long-term development and amplification awaiting the next classes!”.

Ms. Dinh Vu Trang Ngan, Dean of Fulbright Undergraduate Studies, also articulated: “I hope the students will be able to acquire pragmatic skills and systematic foundation knowledge of marketing, from which they will share insights to everyone around them. They will be learners, collaborators, and co-designers who will pave the way for the following classes. As with all other courses at Fulbright, high scores are not what we are looking for. Instead, this is a great opportunity for students to explore the wondrous world out there and also the world within themselves.”

At the course launching event, eight new students eagerly asked questions about the program, from the role of marketing in changing people’s behavior, to professional ethics and how to pursue this career responsibly through fact-based communication and establishing honorable values for the society.

Nguyen Lam Thu An, Fulbright Class of 2024 and one of the eight Gen 1 students expressed her excitement: “Before Fulbright, I have always been interested in marketing, but I never had a chance to learn or really get exposed to it. That’s why this time, I cannot wait to be inspired and motivated to keep experimenting and exploring my own passion. I hope the next two months will help ‘kindle the flame’ for marketing in me, help me build a fundamental, profound, and extensive view of the industry, and from that allow me to make steady strides towards being the architect of my own future.”